•Pura Vida Part II•

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Even though we don’t consider „riding buses“ as a hobby of ours, we again spent approx. 10 hours in 5 different buses to get from Léon (Nicaragua) to Costa Rica.

 

While you guys were taking it easy and put on the first candle of your Advent wreath, we put on our swim gear and jumped into the sea at Samara beach. In this sleepy town we spend a couple of days just relaxing. We watched the newbie surfers trying to catch some waves and when the tide set in and the waves got higher the pro-surfers came out to show their skills during sun set. Actually it looks a lot easier from the beach than it really is… Patrick managed to break the leash of the rented surfboard! Well, at least he didn’t break his legs! ;-)

 

Together with Sybille (from Zürich) who we got to know in the Hostel, we drove inland to Monteverde. Bikini off, rain jacket on! A breathtaking, hilly and misty landscape welcomed us from its best side with rainbows during sunset. The meeting of Atlantic and Pacific winds results in a unique phenomenon: even when the sky is blue and the sun is shining you feel a soft drizzle on your skin that you can’t see. The only evidences are the drops on your rain jacket and the numerous rainbows. Simply amazing!

 

After the laid-back days on the beach it was time for some action! So we get ourselves again on some sky-high zip lines and zoomed through the canopy of the Monteverde cloud forest. Highlight of the trip was the Tarzan swing where we jumped off a hanging bridge (100ft) and swung on a “liana” from one to the other side after an initial freefall! 100% adrenaline!!!!

 

Speaking of adrenaline … have you ever climbed a tree? Yes? So did we… in Santa Elena we climbed a 100 years old and 120ft tall fig tree from the inside! We have to admit that it was a bit scary but once you’re down again, you enjoy it!

 

On the way back to San José we stopped at La Fortuna – an awful expensive and touristy town close to the lake Arenal. The reason why so many people come to this place is because of the volcano Arenal. But this main attraction unfortunately (or luckily) stopped spilling lava since one year and so it’s nothing more than a rocky hill at the moment. Instead we went to a hot spring: While many posh open-air baths in this area ask for silly high prices, we did like the locals do and went to a nearby river and enjoyed the comfy hot water for several hours… FOR FREE!

 

Back in San José we visited the volcano Irazú. Another astonishing example of what mother earth created in millions of years: on 3400 meters above sea level a green/turquoise crater lake was formed in the extinct volcano crater (diameter of 1000m). The colours of the lake really flashed infront of the black and brown volcanic rocks and the cloud covered sky below us.

 

In summary, we would describe Costa Rica as the most developed country of Central America.  In terms of environmental protection the country is taking a pioneer role within the region: it seems as if the people have understood how precious nature really is. And that’s exactly why many tourists come here – to enjoy this beautiful nature. But all that glitter is not gold: trash is still thrown on the roadsides carelessly by some people and we highly doubt that all the self-named “eco hotel” are really eco-orientated (but jumped on that “eco-train” for the sake of making money)! And we realized that there’s a high density of SUVs! So our advice would be to go to the supermarket around the corner by bike and give your CO2-monster a break…

 

And here you can have a look at the pictures!

 


 

•Pura Vida•

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As we are not on vacation and there’s a lot left on our itinerary, we took the early boat from Bocas Town (Isla Colon) to Almirante and on by minivan to the boarder (Sixaola) – after being in Panama for 3 weeks (Nov 8). The Costa-rican immigration officer tightly checked our on-journey ticket and our documents. Luckily we’ve prepared ourselves this time (not like in Colombia) and got the desired stamps in our passports. From the boarder we took a bus that passed through banana plantations and little towns until we reached Puerto Viejo after two hours.

 

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